One of the very few restaurant-related bright spots from the coronavirus pandemic may become a permanent part of dining in Texas. Governor Greg Abbott recently tweeted his support for continuing to allow restaurants to sell alcohol to-go "forever."
As CultureMap has previously reported, the governor signed a waiver allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine, and mixed drinks for both to-go and delivery — providing that the drinks are served with food and the alcoholic beverages remained in their original packaging.
Beginning last year, restaurants had been allowed to sell alcoholic beverages through a delivery service. Abbott’s waiver allowed consumers to pick up their drinks without utilizing a third party; it also expanded which establishments could offer them.
Waiver in place, bars (that serve food) and restaurants across the state started selling cocktails to go. The offerings have been a hit, providing not only a little comfort to customers but also financial relief to establishments reeling from lost revenues.
Of course, if Abbott really wanted to be a hero to Texas tipplers, he’d allow bars and restaurants to sell pre-mixed cocktails. If that situation did come to pass, diners could purchase properly portioned, mixed, and diluted drinks rather than being given a bunch of ingredients and told to figure it out on their own. In addition, all of those restaurants selling frozen cocktails in sealed plastic jugs would suddenly be in compliance with the law instead of risking a fine to earn some much needed dollars.
Alas, making those changes would likely require action by the legislature, and it won’t meet again until 2021.